In April 2023, the National Park Trust, in collaboration with the National Park Service (NPS) and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, orchestrated a transformative experience for veterans along the serene banks of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River in Pennsylvania. This event seamlessly blended fly fishing with the rejuvenating embrace of nature, offering a day of relaxation and connection for our nation’s heroes.

National Park Trust, funded by the NPS and in partnership with Project Healing Waters, aims to provide active-duty military personnel and veterans with access to fly fishing opportunities in national park sites across the country.

At Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, the day began with NPS rangers introducing the park and sharing its rich cultural and natural significance. Following a leisurely lunch on the riverbank, participants spent the afternoon honing their casting techniques, landing fish, and sharing stories about the bites they felt throughout the day. A highlight of the event was the presentation of the Interagency Military Annual Pass to participating service members. This pass grants entrance or access for one year to over 2,000 federal recreational sites, including all National Park Service locations, for current military members and their dependents.

This event at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River is the first of four outdoor recreation events planned for 2024 at national park sites nationwide. Upcoming locations include Olympic National Park (WA), Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (WY), Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL), and Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN). These events promise more opportunities for veterans to find solace and strength in the great outdoors.